Apple’s recent creation of Apple Pay, which allows consumers to purchase items from merchants using their iPhone 6, has not been the big success the company had hoped for. In fact the numbers are awful: usage has declined from when the program was launched last year according to well connected sources. Analysts across the board are not surprised by the statistics, as several conditions have to be met by the consumer and the merchant before Apple Pay will work.
There are several reasons why Wall Street analysts believe that Apple Pay has not caught on. Lack of awareness of the program is a major factor. People simply do not know that their iPhone 6 (which is the only phone that can support Apple Pay) is capable of the service. Moreover, many people just plain forget to use the application when at the store checkout counter. Typically, people have to have their phones in their hand and remember to use Apple Pay while waiting in line. With so many other things on people’s minds, using Apple Pay is likely not high on the list. Consumers who choose not to use Apple Pay also have fears about the security of their personal information. Another major reason people are not using Apple Pay is due to the fact that they are simply unaware of how the application works.
In addition to all of those factors, there is still another fundamental reason why Apple Pay has not caught on: in order to use the application, people have to have an iPhone 6 and merchants have to have an NFC terminal in order to accept payment. As merchants are anxious to purchase technology that will keep up with evolving payment methods, they are reluctant to do so until a frontrunner really takes off. That has yet to happen, with rivals including Google and PayPal having similar competing services.
Analysts also surmise that Apple Pay was created to fix a problem that does not really exist.
While people often dislike the hassle of going to a store and looking for their desired merchandise, once they find what they are looking for and make their way to the register, they simply do not mind paying with their credit/debit cards. Jared Schrieber, CEO of InfoScout, explained that, “People don’t understand why it is they would go about using Apple Pay, they are fine with what they have. And they are not familiar with how they would use Apple Pay if they wanted to.”
Karen Webster, CEO of PYMNTS.com, may have summed up the lack of success with Apple Pay in the best terms: “ . . . if all [consumers] get to do at checkout at a few of the stores they shop is use a phone instead of a card that works everywhere, what’s the point? That’s what consumers are telling us based on these results.”